Can an employee who has not been employed by their employer for 26 weeks by the qualifying week claim any financial assistance throughout their maternity leave?

An employee who has insufficient service to qualify for statutory maternity pay (SMP) may qualify for maternity allowance, paid by the Government. To qualify for maternity allowance the employee must have worked for any 26 weeks in the 66-week period before their baby was due. The 26 weeks do not have to be consecutive and they can count any jobs in which they earned at least £30 per week and any weeks of self-employment. Maternity allowance is paid for 39 weeks at the flat rate of SMP.

The employee may qualify for other benefits, depending on their family total income. Once their baby is born, the employee will be entitled to child benefit. They may also qualify for the sure start maternity grant.